1970 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1970 Baltimore Orioles season involved the Orioles finishing first in the American League East with a record of 108 wins and 54 losses, 15 games ahead of the runner-up New York Yankees. The Orioles put together one of the most dominant postseason runs of all time, scoring 60 runs in just eight games as they swept the Minnesota Twins for the second straight year in the American League Championship Series and then went on to win their second World Series title over the National League champion Cincinnati Reds in five games, thanks to the glove of third baseman Brooks Robinson.

1970 Baltimore Orioles
1970 World Series Champion
1970 American League Champion
1970 American League East Division Champion
Major League affiliations
Record108–54 (.667)
Divisional place1st
Other information
Owner(s)Jerold Hoffberger
General manager(s)Harry Dalton
Manager(s)Earl Weaver
Local televisionWJZ-TV
Local radioWBAL (AM)
(Chuck Thompson, Bill O'Donnell)
< Previous season     Next season >

The team was managed by Earl Weaver, and played their home games at Memorial Stadium.


Regular season

Bouncing back from 1969

Following their upset loss to the New York Mets in the 1969 World Series, the Orioles picked up where they left off in 1969. They opened the season with five wins and ran away with their second straight American League East title, beating back a challenge from the New York Yankees in June. They won 19 of their last 22 games to finish with a 108-win season, one win fewer than the previous year.

The team was mostly the same as 1969. Starting pitchers Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally, and Jim Palmer each won at least 20 games, and the veteran bullpen seldom faltered. On defense, Brooks Robinson, center fielder Paul Blair, and second baseman Davey Johnson won Gold Gloves. Offensively, first baseman Boog Powell was the AL's Most Valuable Player, leading the team with 35 home runs and 114 RBIs. Don Buford and Blair continued to get on base, and Frank Robinson (.306, 25 home runs), Brooks Robinson (94 RBIs), and Powell continued to drive them home. Elrod Hendricks led a catching platoon that produced 17 homers and 74 RBIs, and outfielder Merv Rettenmund, a product of the farm system, hit .322 with 18 home runs and 58 RBI. The Minnesota Twins were the only team in the American League to have a winning record in the regular season versus the Baltimore Orioles.[3]

Injury to Paul Blair

There was a sobering moment early in the season when Blair was beaned on May 31 in Anaheim, California. The California Angels' Ken Tatum threw a pitch that hit Blair in the face. Blair was seemingly on his way to a second straight strong season after having 26 home runs and 76 RBIs in 1969. He missed three weeks after the beaning, coming back to finish with 18 home runs and 65 RBIs, but he seldom produced that well over the rest of his career, and some speculated he was never the same at the plate.

The return of Moe Drabowsky

One personnel change from '69 to '70 was the return of Moe Drabowsky, the eminent prankster relief pitcher who had been lost to the Kansas City Royals in the expansion draft before the '69 season. Now 34 and near the end of his career, he was reacquired during the '70 season and won four of six decisions, helping fill out a veteran bullpen.

Season standings

AL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Baltimore Orioles 10854 0.667 59–22 49–32
New York Yankees 9369 0.574 15 53–28 40–41
Boston Red Sox 8775 0.537 21 52–29 35–46
Detroit Tigers 7983 0.488 29 42–39 37–44
Cleveland Indians 7686 0.469 32 43–38 33–48
Washington Senators 7092 0.432 38 40–41 30–51

Record vs. opponents

Baltimore 13–57–59–314–411–712–07–55–711–77–512–6
Boston 5–135–78–412–69–97–55–77–510–87–512–6
California 5–77–512–66–66–610–812–68–105–78–107–5
Chicago 3–94–86–126–66–67–117–116–125–72–164–8
Cleveland 4–146–126–66–67–118–47–56–68–107–511–7
Detroit 7–119–96–66–611–76–68–44–87–116–69–9
Kansas City 0–125–78–1011–74–86–612–65–131–117–116–6
Milwaukee 5–77–56–1211–75–74–86–125–133–9–18–105–7
Minnesota 7–55–710–812–66–68–413–513–55–713–56–6
New York 7–118–107–57–510–811–711–19–3–17–56–610–8
Oakland 5–75–710–816–25–76–611–710–85–136–610–2
Washington 6–126–125–78–47–119–96–67–56–68–102–10

Notable transactions


1970 Baltimore Orioles
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Player stats

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CElrod Hendricks10632279.2421241
1BBoog Powell154527156.29735114
2BDavey Johnson149530149.2811053
3BBrooks Robinson158608168.2761894
SSMark Belanger145459100.218136
LFDon Buford144504137.2721766
CFPaul Blair133480128.2671865
RFFrank Robinson132471144.3062578

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Merv Rettenmund106338109.3221858
Andy Etchebarren7823056.243428
Chico Salmon6317243.250722
Terry Crowley8315239.257520
Bobby Grich309520.21108
Curt Motton528419.226319
Clay Dalrymple13327.21913
Dave May25316.19416
Johnny Oates5185.27802
Don Baylor8174.23504
Roger Freed4132.15401
Bobby Floyd320.00000

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Jim Palmer39305.020102.71199
Mike Cuellar40297.22483.48190
Dave McNally40296.02493.22185
Tom Phoebus27135.0553.0772

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Jim Hardin36145.1653.5378

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Pete Richert5072131.9866
Eddie Watt5377123.2533
Dick Hall3210533.0830
Marcelino López251102.0849
Dave Leonhard230015.0814
Moe Drabowsky214213.7821
Fred Beene40006.004



The Orioles win the series over the Minnesota Twins in three straight games.

1Baltimore – 10, Minnesota – 6October 3Metropolitan Stadium26,847
2Baltimore – 11, Minnesota – 3October 4Metropolitan Stadium27,490
3Minnesota – 1, Baltimore – 6October 5Memorial Stadium27,608

World Series

AL Baltimore Orioles (4) vs. NL Cincinnati Reds (1)

Game Score Date Location Attendance Time of Game
1Orioles – 4, Reds – 3October 10Riverfront Stadium51,3512:24
2Orioles – 6, Reds – 5October 11Riverfront Stadium51,3512:26
3Reds – 3, Orioles – 9October 13Memorial Stadium51,7732:09
4Reds – 6, Orioles – 5October 14Memorial Stadium53,0072:26
5Reds – 3, Orioles – 9October 15Memorial Stadium45,3412:35

Awards and honors

  • Boog Powell, American League MVP
  • Brooks Robinson, Babe Ruth Award
  • Brooks Robinson, World Series MVP

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Rochester Red Wings International League Cal Ripken Sr.
AA Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs Texas League Joe Altobelli
A Stockton Ports California League Bill Werle
A Miami Marlins Florida State League Woody Smith
A-Short Season Aberdeen Pheasants Northern League Ken Rowe
Rookie Bluefield Orioles Appalachian League Ray Malgradi

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Miami, Bluefield


  1. Tom Shopay page at Baseball Reference
  2. Doug DeCinces page at Baseball Reference
  3. 100 Things Orioles Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die, Dan Connolly, Triumph Books, Chicago, 2015, ISBN 978-1-62937-041-5, p.51
  4. Rob Andrews page at Baseball Reference


  • Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles, eds. (1997). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (2nd ed.). Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America. ISBN 978-0-9637189-8-3.
  • 1970 Baltimore Orioles team page at Baseball Reference
  • 1970 Baltimore Orioles season at baseball-almanac.com
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